Did God Elect Obama?

Yesterday Barack Obama made history by becoming the first black President of these United States.  The enthusiasm and pride of the million plus people who endured hours of bitter cold to witness his inauguration was truly inspiring.  We can all be very proud that this new chapter in American history has begun.  It is my earnest prayer that the ugly scourge of racism and disenfranchisement of African-Americans; indeed all people, no matter what color, can be put behind us forever.

President Barack ObamaPresident Obama’s speech was typical of those he delivered during his campaign, filled with the phrases of hope that became the platform on which he ran – “we are one”, “yes we can”, “nothing is impossible”, “this is not about me, but about you”, etc.  These words have instilled a great sense of hope in the masses and expectations upon our new President are very high.  Truly he will need our prayers in the days to come as we face some of the greatest crises in the history of this nation.

Personally, I’m not as full of hope as most, it seems.  I’m not a pessimist by nature, but life has taught me that talk is cheap, people are mostly fickle, selfish and lazy by nature, and common sense is in short supply today, especially in Washington D.C.  Simply electing a new President, no matter how charismatic or brilliant he (or she) may be will not make a whit of difference if we don’t get a rapid and comprehensive infusion of guts and brains into our Democrat-controlled congress as well.

True to form, I’d like to be controversial (what? Rich? controversial?) and address one idea that keeps popping up in the commentaries made by Christians since the election.  “God is in control of everything” seems to be a popular theme these days, which is clearly meant to say that God put Obama into office.  I have very strong objections to this concept, and I’d like to share another perspective.

The Bible is filled with examples of God raising up leaders, both good and evil, to rule over His people.  Many Christians in this hour are quick to quote Paul’s admonition in Romans 13:1-3 in defense of their position that God is in control of our elections:

” Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

Thus the reasoning goes that it must be God who put Barack Obama in office, and whatever happens must therefore be the will of God.

But let’s think about this for a moment.  If we make this verse a doctrine and apply it literally and broadly across the fabric of history, I think we’ll see a problem emerge.  When Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door at Whitenburg was he in rebellion against God? He was surely rebelling against authority; and spiritual authority at that.  How about the Fathers of our nation who fought against the forces of the British Crown to establish a new, independent government in defiance of their authority?  What about those German Christians who refused to support Hitler’s campaign to exterminate the Jewish people from the face of the earth?  How about those millions of Christians around the world today who must worship in secret because the practice of Christianity is forbidden by their government.  Do we have a problem with this doctrine yet?

Let’s make it more real with some possibilites we could very well face in the not too distant future.  What will you do if the government decides to limit you to only having 1 child because of new population control laws?  What will you do when your income tax rates are 50%, 60%, even 70% of what you make in order to pay the interest on the national debt they have amassed in bailing out the banks, auto industry, etc.?  What will you do when the public school your 5 year old attends starts teaching that homosexual unions are normal and then informs you that you have no say in the matter because homosexual marriage is now the law?  Will you submit when the government wants to tell you what kind of car you can drive, what food you can eat, what temperature your home must be, and what clothes you will wear in the name of environmental responsibility and world equality?  In the face of these things, will you sit passively by and cling to your doctrine that God is in control of everything and all leaders come into power in accordance with His will?

I think all Christians can agree that the death of Christ on the cross was the pivotal point of history.  Most Christians view the sacrifice of Christ through the lens of personal salvation.  While this is the central truth of the cross, there is another equally significant truth involved; the establishment of God’s Kingdom upon the earth and the beginning of a new covenant and a brand new Age of righteousness.

Since that day, the Kingdom has been growing, expanding, filling this world, day by day, heart by heart.  This Kingdom is God’s rule and reign upon the earth.  It’s goal and purpose is the complete and total transformation of every nation, people and tribe, bringing the life-giving will and purposes of God into full realization upon the earth.

This Kingdom comes challenging the authority of the enemy – the god of this age, who possesses great power and influence in every nation and foments rebellion against the perfect will of God and His Kingdom.  Thus we are in a war for the hearts of men and for the soul of every nation, especially that in which we live.

The clear commandment of Christ is to dwell in God’s love, to love our fellow man, and seek the righteousness of God.  He also commanded us to make disciples (followers) of this Kingdom and teach them how to live and walk in righteousness.  I believe we could sum this up with Jesus words – “I have come that they might have life in abundance“.  There is no country on earth where that is more possible than America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

What is my point?  I believe that the birth of America was the culminating fruit of centuries of Kingdom expansion upon the earth.  This land was birthed by those who sought freedom – to be free to live in peace, pursue their dreams, and worship God in whatever manner they desired.  In only 100 years, America because the greatest nation that has ever existed upon the earth, not because we were the richest or most powerful, but because we were a free people, and our founding documents, if followed, virtually guaranteed our success.  We also became the beachhead and top exporter of the Gospel of the Kingdom to the nations of the earth.

However, the last 100 years have seen a terrible reversal of these vital principles.  Slowly but surely our government has gotten bigger and ever more powerful.  Taxes are increasing while freedom is decreasing.  Righteousness living is no longer common as our nation’s moral fabric has disintegrated.  Truth is increasingly in short supply as the media spews lies and excrement to an adrenaline-addicted, intellectually slothful generation.  International financial interests wield far more power in political realms than the masses they govern.  Things are not as they should be.

Did God put Barack Obama in power?  No, He did not.  We did.  We the people. Do not blame God for anything that happens on your watch, Christian. We hold the destiny of this nation in our hands.  God has not left us alone, but He has left us in charge.

You see, it was God-fearing men and women who took the principles of the Kingdom of God seriously and fought and bled and died to create this great nation where freedom reigned and government was intentionally restrained by law:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Selah.

Does this mean that I believe God is opposed to Barack Obama?  No more than He is opposed to you or I.  God is for us all.  But we are deceived if we believe that God picks sides, for He does not.

The real question is this – is Barack Obama on God’s side? How can we tell?  “You shall know them by their fruits“.  When President Obama seeks to bring peace and prosperity, promoting freedom and liberty for all the people, he is surely on God’s side.  At the same time, when President Obama appoints activist judges who erode liberty and freedom, who open up the floodgates of unrestrained murder of unborn babies, he is surely not a friend of God nor His Kingdom.

I believe “God is in control” is a Christian cop-out.  True, God is all powerful, but in this Age He chooses to limit His power, seeking to exercise it almost solely through the ambassadors of His Kingdom.  The gift of freedom is a fearful thing, for it bears great responsibility. Adam was free to partake of the forbidden fruit.  Man is free to love God or hate him.  And we, as Americans have been graced with the freedom to choose what kind of nation we shall have.  Every election is another opportunity to either advance or restrain the rule and reign of God in our nation by choosing righteous or unrighteous leaders to govern us.  Let us stop blaming God for our own failures to act responsibility with the great power and freedom He has given to us.

Yesterday Barack Obama swore an oath on the Lincoln Bible to uphold the Constitution of the United States.  I’m going to hold him to that, and I pray you will as well.  If we do not, we shall have no one to blame but ourselves for our great loss.

Let us earnestly pray that President Obama will be firmly on God’s side… that he will turn from the ungodly positions he has held in his former days, and govern righteously and wisely.  May God have mercy upon us.

Until next time,
R<><

“When the righteous rule, the people rejoice”

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Published in: on January 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm  Comments (16)  

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  1. I tearfully agree.

    When Christians stand back, especially in the numbers that we have here in the US, the predictions of the end of the age are ever closer.

    Like Daniel, we must worship our God whatever the cost.

  2. Hey Rich,

    Alot of good points and the one point of people making Choices is why he is our president. The sad thing is that when people make wrong choices there are consequences. Alot of so called people who call themselves christians voted for him. Either they were mad at President Bush for some of his policies or they needed help because of needs and President Obama told them what they wanted to hear. Now he will appoint many across this nation who will make judgements on abortion, gay rights, our military, tax payers money, prayer and the bible and other things we might not even know. Pretty scary!!!!

    I think we need to pray more then ever now for this country.

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  4. Rich, you hit the issue. God will never violate man’s free will decision making. He will do everything He can to direct the proper choice, but He will never force the decision, even if it’s in man’s best interests.

    In this election however another set of values played into effect. Race: Countless numbers voted for Obama just because he is black and for no other reason. Didn’t matter whether or not he was qualified for the job, he is black. (I know PhD’s who used this rationale when they voted.) The other is this rampant “Spirit of Entitlement” that has run amock in the minority community in this country. We are entitled to it! This Spirit of Entitlement is probably more aptly identified as the Spirits of Lack and Poverty. Instead of the work ethic that once prevailed in this great nation, the ethic of “you owe it to me” is now in effect. As my 86 year old father (who lived through the depression and served in WWII) said…It’s time this country get back to knowing the difference between a NEED and a Want !

  5. The author’s ethnocentricism is frightening. Has he ever experienced other “foreign” cultures that believe in God? We are not the only nation on this earth. Worst of all, his tone of judgement is shameful. Instead of instilling more doubt and fear in Americans, try stepping back and seeing the bigger picture of hope.
    PRESIDENT Obama is trying to bring Americans and all people together, not tear them apart, as our previous so-called “Christian” president did. All Christians should try reaching out with the GRACE of God instead of isolating ourselves further with inclusive, defensive ideas focused on a handful of “hot-button” issues. I’m glad that there are only 4 comments on this article, meaning not too many people have actually read it. Thank GOD!

    • @FriendsofBurgess

      Thank you for your comment. I call this Kingdom Conversations, and want to spur dialogue. Thus, I have approved your scathing remarks about my article.

      I am left wondering if you actually READ the article. You accuse me of being ethnocentric and judgmental. Does this mean that now that we have a black President, we cannot offer a critical analysis without being labeled as racist? I’m pretty sure this is going to be the battle we’ll be fighting for a while. We already have a messiah complex going with the media, so anyone who dares to speak anything but praise for Obama is already swimming against a very swift current.

      I’m very happy that President Obama is bringing hope to the masses, for surely we need hope for the future. However, we need far more than hope – we need solid leadership based on godly principles, and we need it not only in the executive branch, but also in the legislative and judicial branches of government as well. Sorry… I don’t see much hope there in the immediate future. You’re going to have to make your case on that one.

      Merely saying “we are one” does not make it so. We are a nation divided for many reasons. There are a number of us who are sick and tired of the radical liberal agenda, social collectivism, and political correctness that has plagued our nation for decades. The Church has sat silently by for decades and has allowed ungodly forces to occupy the seats of influence of our culture. Placing our hope in Obama, or any other politician to be the answer to our problems is the exact WRONG thing for the Church to be doing in this desperate hour. That is my point – WE are responsible for the condition of our nation. I’m not passing the blame any longer. And it was WE who elected Obama, so we cannot blame God for whatever damage occurs under his term in office. That is my point.

      You say that we should be reaching out with the grace of God and not isolating ourselves… I could not agree more. This is desperately needed in this hour. However, avoiding “hot-button issues” like abortion or preserving our freedom are hardly issues we should be avoiding. We’ve been doing this for decades and where has it gotten us? How can we pray “God Bless America” while we continue to murder our unborn children by the millions in the name of convenience? If this one issue alone prevents the blessing of God upon our land, sweeping it under the rug is probably not a good idea. Are we only to discuss issues we agree on? Is that the basis for unity?

      You can sit around the campfire singing Kumbaya all you want, but as for me and my tribe, we’re not going to sit by and let the moral decline of our nation and erosion of our freedoms continue. Mr. Obama took an oath, and we will hold him to his promise to uphold the Constitution of the United States. He has my prayers and I will be the first to celebrate every godly decision that he makes. I pray that wisdom will prevail and he will change many of his positions now that he is in the driver’s seat and actually has the power to govern (something that is noticeably lacking in his resume’). If he does not change his positions on many key issues, I don’t see much reason for genuine hope. Yet, my faith in GOD is strong, and I am confident that He is at work in His Church, among those who have eyes to see and hearts to obey. It is WE who will make this nation strong again, if we will rise to the occasion. The best thing the government can do is get out of our way. They have far more ability to make things worse than better at this stage of the game.

      I invite you to a rebuttal, but do us all a favor, and come with some substantive arguments, not emotional sentiments based on your warm Obama-fuzzies, OK?

      P.S. – Apparently you do not believe much in freedom of speech either, since you’re thanking God that not many people have read my article. Sorry to disappoint you, but you’re only the first of many. Stay tuned 🙂

  6. And so it starts…………as soon as a Democrat is elected, the negativity begins. President Obama is Commander in Chief to everyone in this country–not just believers. He must represent our whole nation. Try to remember this. And take a good look at the founding fathers, many of whom were Theists. We evangelicals need to show Christ’s love, not the wrath of the Law. Oh, and I’m glad to know that God didn’t elect Obama, since that explains the embarrassment of the presidency of George Bush. Hardly God-ordained.

    • @ Debra – thanks for the remarks. Your comments underscore one of the biggest problems we have today – bipartisan politics. I’m sure you think I’m a Republican, but I’m not. I’m a God-fearing conservative who has a solid Kingdom-biblical worldview. I voted for Bush, but he did not do what he promised during his campaign (but then, which politician does?) He was a terrible disappointment to me on many points, not the least of which are his financial policies, which definitely do not represent conservatism or or truly free-market capitalism. If you embrace all that Obama does just because he is a Democrat, then you are part of the problem, and not the solution.

      I don’t see how you can interpret anything in my article as unloving or “wrath of the law”. I’m a radical lover of God and believer in grace. How does saying that I’m not all warm and tingly about Obama, based on his stated positions going into this election equate to a lack of love? Again, I guess we just can’t speak the truth these days without somebody calling foul.

      Obama does not represent the whole nation, for that is impossible. If he stands for nationalized health care, government handouts, and abortion, He certainly does not represent conservative, biblical values, therefore he cannot represent me. He has volunteered to SERVE the whole nation. It is my prayer that he will serve with an understanding of God’s ways, which are good for all people, believers or not.

      As a Christian, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. The government is not the answer. You are. Take a stand on God’s side and make a difference in your world. If we all do that, then we have a reason for hope.

  7. Concerning the doctrine of “God in Control: if God is in control then

    1. What would be the point of Rom.8:16,17 – Why would the Holy Spirit be witnessing to us about being “CO-HEIRS” ? (the word means – one who participates in the same lot).
    2. Rom. 8:19 – (If God is in control) why would nature be waiting for the “unveiling” of the sons of God (us) ?
    3. John 16:8-11- How is the Holy Spirit going to do all that “convicting” ? ( ps. see verse 7 – He is come to us)
    4. John 16:15 -(If God is in control) why does the Holy Spirit need to take what is Jesus’ and show it to us?
    5. Rom. 12:2- (If God is in control) why do we need transformed minds to “prove” His good, acceptable and perfect will.
    6. Eph.1:19 – (If God is in control) why is Paul praying for the eyes of our understanding to be open to the exceeding great power toward us who believe…?
    7. etc. etc. etc………

    Our Father is not about “control” – He is all about partnership. He is the King of “kings” – As a king in the Kingdom of the KING, I am to partner with Him to take dominion.

    Some time ago, I was cleaning the chimney of an older man and his wife. After the job, they asked me to sit and talk for awhile. Quickly I learned that they were Jews who had first hand experience with the Nazi concentration camps. When they discovered that I was a pastor, God suddenly became the focus and they made no bones about telling me that they wanted nothing to do with a God that “allowed” 6 million Jews to be exterminated. Their anger became very pronounced when I casually began to mention some of the historical “man” created structures that “allowed” someone like Hitler to rise to such power. I quickly learned an important life lesson- Lots of people cling to the “God-in-control” doctrine because it is a religious way to avoid the truth – namely that when we, who possess the Kingdom within, fail to Co-heir in manifesting that Kingdom, the only person we can point the finger at is us.

  8. @ Mike B. – Great points, brother. Thanks for sharing in the dialogue. Hitler is certainly one of the strongest arguments against this doctrine of “God is in control”. It is logically inconsistent to believe in a God who is in control of everything on earth and yet claims to be love. This is the very thing that prevents many people from believing in God as we have presented him. We know from the testimony, life and death of Jesus that God is love, therefore we cannot logically say He brings to power every King, Queen, President, dictator or despot, especially if they are inherently evil (am I am certainly NOT implying that Obama is.)

    Because He is God, he can and does choose at times to intervene in human history. Perhaps I am wrong, and He did in this election. Only history will tell. No matter, we can and should pray for His intervention in our new President’s leadership and that President Obama’s heart will be turned towards God and His purposes.

  9. Rich,

    Thanks for putting out some great content. The “God is in control” cop-out has brought us a host of terrible tragedies as the masses sit under mind-numbing sleep-inducing sermons.

    Your article is “ethnocentric” in the sense that it is written by an American about America. Perhaps @FriendsOfBurgess missed that obvious element. (I’m trying to give him/her the benefit of the doubt.) Speaking of doubt… I don’t see this post as instilling “fear and doubt” unless someone has something to be afraid of and/or has put their trust in something that is untrustworthy.

    Oh wait… maybe that’s the case with him/her… especially since he/she seems to have put significant trust in a politician… or at least in what that politician symbolizes.

    Nonetheless… there is reason for hope — for those of us who seek to understand how the Kingdom operates. Our trust isn’t in the system, the economy, the President, or even the “church.” Our trust is in the King, and we are discovering His Wisdom for this hour.

    Fear and doubt? Not for me. Faith and confidence. Thank you very much.

  10. So many excellent points. It seems people would be lost without someone to blame. However, when we point the finger, there are 3 pointing back at us. When we make major decisions according to our feelings or a skin color or a particular “issue”, we have only ourselves to look to when the results are in.

    Believing that someone will do what they say, just because they say they will has proven to be an untruth. People wanted change, well they sure are getting change. Change from what and to what, I would ask!? Going from the frying pan into the fire is change too.

    One of the things this country was founded on was free speech. That did not include that you had to like what was heard or the right to shut people up because you disagree with them.

    The first commandment says “Thou shall have no other gods before Me”. Wonder why God said that???

    Jesus offended people for telling it like it is too.
    Thanks Rich, I for one do not want to be part of the problem, we are called to be part of a solution.

  11. Hi Rich

    Thank you for what I see as a very impartial forum to express our thoughts. My thoughts are that you are too kind to the current adminstration.

    These are very important issues and times in our generation. I too am very concerned about the way our nation seems to be heading. You are right that each of us is responsible for who is in office and how we allow that leader to lead while in office….but remember half of us out there did not vote for the current adm.

    I have tried to get individuals on my facebook page involved in knowing what is going on in our world and I am pretty much ignored. I am concerned with one point you made and that is that we are all responsible for who is in office. All that I can do as a Christian is pray , vote for who I see as the most Moral person and who I think God wants me to . I feel powerless beyond that. and I also feel very discouraged to think that many , many people voted for Obama just because of the fact that he is black. I am still very unsure of his qualifications to be the most powerful man in our nation.

    I would also like to say that I dont not give a hang for a mans skin color….I am looking inside to see how they think how they believe..how they would govern…Who is their God …that is all I am interested in and it really hurts to hear some saying that if we object to anything our current leader does , then we are racists….that is so wrong…but it is a good ploy to try to keep people from voicing their oponions or thoughts….It is putting a gag on free speech.

    I will also admit that I have been guilty in the past of relaxing when the person I voted for is in office…never again…!!… I am thinking now that the Dems and Repubs are all in it together and are just keeping the public at odds with each other while they are busy working on ushering us into the NWO…and more control over all of us!

    My father who died in 2001 would be shocked at what is taking place in our world today….It is so sad to see our constitution being trampled underfoot until it seems all that is left is a few dirty tattered pieces of paper.

    All Hail to the one and only true God “KING JESUS”!

  12. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..

    Sadly we no longer have the men who will stand up and do this. Read Thomas Jefferson’s notes on this. This phrase was not a peaceful one. Abolish meant anarchy and bloodshed with such force that others that come after would not attempt to do the same things for fear of death.

    Both parties, dems and reps are corrupt. No longer a two part system, but a one part majority.

    I highly doubt I will ever see the overthrow that Thomas Jefferson wrote about that needed to happen every other generation to keep a government in check.

    Evil flourishes when good men do nothing. I believe God lets this happen to show us who we really are…We have been doing nothing for several generations.

  13. “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

    If the Father will give us what we ask under color of Jesus’ authority,

    If it truly is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom,

    If it is His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    If those stewards must give account to their Master on His return concerning their stewardship of his property, and the one who neither lost the talent given him nor increased it was judged,

    How can we escape the conclusion that Father has delegated to His children the Kingdom until the return of the King, and that He (for the most part) keeps His hands out of what He has delegated to them to rule?

    Did the King not say, “Go announce the Kingdom of God. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give?”

    Perhaps we should leave off of making excuses, and rather endeavor to be found doing the Master’s will when He comes


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